Books

  You may remember James Mahon as the Irish reporter who used to be on WDEF, Chattanooga's News Channel 12.  Mahon's first book, Through Irish Eyes, chronicles his journey from an adoptee from communist Romania to being an Irish newsman in the Scenic City and more.

Here's an excerpt from his LinkedIn page:

Emma Bell Miles lived on Walden's Ridge in the early 20th century, writing about nature, Appalachian culture, and the hardships women faced in mountain life.  The new collection The Common Lot and Other Stories is a compilation of her short fiction.

Harper Lee, the author of the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has died in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer was 89.

Monroeville city officials confirmed reports of Lee's death to Alabama Public Radio. Her publisher, HarperCollins, also confirmed the news to NPR.

Her famous novel about a young girl's experience of racial tensions in a small Southern town has sold tens of millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages.

   David Epstein joins us to talk about the relationship between genetics and athletic ability.  Epstein is the author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, which became a New York Times bestseller and inspired this TED Talk.  Epstein (and UT Vols coach Phil Fulmer) will be in Chattanooga on February 22nd to give a talk at the Tivoli Theater.

   As part of their South Bound Lectures series, the Southern Lit Alliance is bringing Adrian Matejka to Chattanooga on Wednesday, February 10th.  In this interview, Matejka talks about The Big Smoke, his Pulitzer-nominated (and National Book Award-nominated) collection of poetry about Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion.

  Chattanooga native Janie Dempsey Watts joins us to discuss her new novel Return to Taylor’s Crossing, which explores the lingering effects of racism and violence during the Civil Rights era in North Georgia.  The novel was published in 2015.

  North Georgia author Tim Champlin joins us to discuss his new book The Wild West of Louis L'Amour: An Illustrated Companion to the Frontier Fiction of an American Icon.  The book describes the real places, people and history that inspired L'Amour, who was one of the most prolific, bestselling American authors of all time.

  J.D. Frost is the author of two crime thrillers set in Chattanooga: Dollface and Face2Face.  Both novels feature Chattanooga police detective Moses Palmer as the protagonist, and the books are the first two installments of a planned trilogy.  

Bennett Miller

  In 1998, author Sarah Vowell went on a road trip and followed the Trail of Tears.  Vowell grew up in Oklahoma; her ancestors were Cherokee.  She visited Chattanooga and North Georgia, seeking the trail’s beginnings, then followed it to the West and created an hour-long episode of This American Life about her journey.

The trip changed her.  

  In a new book on Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” David Orr, the poetry critic for The New York Times, contends that it’s a poem “everyone loves and almost everyone gets wrong.” WUTC's Richard Winham talked to David Orr about Robert Frost and found that the poet, like his poetry, was almost often misunderstood and, equally, underestimated.  

UPDATE 7/13/15 @ 4:54 p.m:  NPR's Maureen Corrigan has reviewed Harper Lee's new novel Go Set A Watchman, and Corrigan calls it "a mess" and a "a troubling confusion of a novel."  Also, Tonja Carter, the attorney who claims she found the long-lost Watchman manuscript, has written an editorial in The Wall Street Journal discuss

You may have read about an imaginary Southern piece of turf where the past presses on the present with such force that characters find themselves transformed with the pressure of it, where the landscape comes alive, where human beings seem sometimes like gods and sometimes like devils, and the language of the story lights up your mind: William Faulkner's half-historical, half-fabulized Yoknapatawpha County, yes?

History buffs in other parts of the country may know Chattanooga only for its importance during the Civil War.  However, a new book by NPR’s Steve Inskeep recounts a lesser-known regional conflict, and it's a story that deserves to be heard and remembered.

The nation's seventh president was a man of legendary toughness who made his name in America's second war against the British — and he's someone NPR's Steve Inskeep has come to know well: Andrew Jackson.

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